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Rivers State government disagree with NMA over infected members

By Ifunanya Obeme-Ndukwe

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The Rivers State government has said it’s attention has been drawn to the comments by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), concerning the alleged poor management of COVID-19 and reports that 82 health workers have been infected in the state.

a statement by the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike, the claim by the NMA is baseless, totally untrue and misconstrued for personal reasons as he said the numbers they claim does not tally with PCR laboratory data or the numbers on the national data repository of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, (NCDC).

The Commissioner said the NMA should be seen as a courageous partner and not a panic creating machine and the state is willing and ready to partner with NMA for better health outcomes. Professor Chike said it is untrue that health care workers are all infected because they lack PPEs that the State Government donated large quantities of complete PPE sets to the tertiary health care institutions in the state and other high volume facilities.

He also said the NMA chairman ought to know that the rising number is not only a reflection of a national trend but a true demonstration of the increased testing capacity in the State with 4 active PCR machines dedicated to COVID diagnosis and running at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, (RSUTH).

Professor Chike added that the state government cannot play ostritch and refuse to test the people in order to please the NMA chairman, noting that propaganda, playing politics with health and creating unfounded fear in the society can hurt the control effort and create danger, as he said the government will ensure that all health workers are provided with enough PPEs for patient engagement while continuing to support other aspects of treatment, risk communication, community engagement and clinical research in order to halt the pandemic.


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